OPPD will heat up Nebraska Fort Calhoun reactor for test -NRC

Reuters

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Nebraska public power company Omaha

Public Power District (OPPD) is ready to heat up the Fort

Calhoun nuclear power reactor's coolant system to inspect for

leaks, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said in a blog on

Tuesday.

The NRC, however, said a heat-up "is not the same as

restarting the plant."

The NRC did not say when the plant would return to service.

Power traders guessed this "heat-up" step meant the plant was

getting closer to restarting and could return to service within

months.

The 479-megawatt plant shut in April 2011 for a refueling

outage that was extended due to historic Missouri River flooding

followed by an electrical fire and other restart complications.

The NRC said OPPD will heat up the reactor coolant system to

ensure the pipes carrying high pressure water or steam do not

leak.

Rather than heating up the reactor using the nuclear fission

process, the NRC said OPPD will use the reactor coolant pumps to

heat up the water and send steam flowing through the system.

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PLANT BACKGROUND/TIMELINE

STATE: Nebraska

County: Washington

TOWN: Fort Calhoun, about 65 miles (100 km) northeast

of Lincoln, the state capital

OPERATOR: Exelon Nuclear

OWNER(S): Omaha Public Power District

CAPACITY: 479 MW

UNIT(S) : Combustion Engineering two-loop pressurized water

reactor

FUEL: Nuclear

DISPATCH: Baseload

COST: $754.65 million (2007 USD) according to the U.S.

EIA

TIMELINE:

1966 - Construction started

1973 - Unit enters service

2002 - OPPD files with NRC to extend the plant's original

40-year operating license for another 20 years

2003 - NRC renews operating license for 20 years

2033 - License expires

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